Page started at PyCon 2015 for cross-distro collaboration on Python 3 Linux distro porting status.

Ubuntu status:

Fedora status:

openSUSE status:

Additional Python 3 porting helpers

Python Future

Expansive Python 2/3 compatibility layer (provides a more "Python 3" experience in Python 2 than the more minimalist six compatibility module)


PyPI module:

Ubuntu PPA (bio-linux):

Fedora COPR: ??

Debian ITP:

Fedora review request:


"Six for extension modules"


Possible revised semantics for "python" symlink

Conceptually along the lines of the "Python launcher for Windows" (, but wouldn't automatically update to refer to new versions when they were installed - the launcher configuration would need to be explicitly updated to select a new default.

Background reading

Why not the "alternatives" system?

The problem with the alternatives system for this use case is that there's no support for command line overriding of the selected version - "python" would always refer to the administrator selected version. We'd prefer the runtime selectivity offered by the Python launcher for Windows CLI or Fedora's rubypick (

Counter-argument: tools like 'conda', 'pyenv', 'virtualenv', and the Linux-specific utilities discussed in the next section already offer environment based control over which Python you get on a per user and per application basis, so an administrator set default is arguably the only missing piece, and that's exactly the problem the alternatives system is designed to handle.

Possible integration with Software Collections & Environment Modules

Software collections are a tool for the Fedora/RHEL/CentOS ecosystem that allows parallel installation of multiple versions of language, database and web server runtimes:

SCL 2.0+ natively supports the cross-distro environment modules system (, while SCL 1.x supports automated conversion to environment modules (

If "/usr/bin/python" becomes a Python launcher style executable rather than a direct symlink to a specific Python runtime, then it would likely be desirable to make it easy to have it point to a software collection or other environment module installed under /opt in addition to being able to use it to switch between native system packages installed under /usr.

Other Notes/Tasks

Update Python 3 extension module porting guide ( (Barry Warsaw, Petr Viktorin)


Python3LinuxDistroPortingStatus (last edited 2017-04-22 09:18:30 by NickCoghlan)

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